Thursday, 31 July 2014

De-cluttering, Diets and a little bit of Stitching

Well the de-cluttering has been going well lots of 'stuff' cleared out. As I have a few hobbies *cough* I ahem have quite a lot of stash. Actually to be honest a lot more than I realised! I've been busy sorting....oh my! Where to put it all *blush* it's made me realise I have far far too much 'stuff' sadly I am on a diet....a stash diet to be precise I am not going to allow myself to purchase any new kits till I have made a substantial dent in what I already have *sigh*.
I did have some fun moments while clearing out, you know when you discover stuff you forgot you had. For instance my grans, great grans and great aunts doilies..I'd forgotten all about these.
 and some vintage clothing I collected over 20 years ago now...eek!
 What a state it was in all horrible and yellow having been stored in a cardboard box in various attics over the years. After a bit of googling where I discovered cardboard and old textiles don't mix! Oops! have given them all a good wash and look.......not perfect but I am really pleased with how these have turned out.
I think it was the needlework on these pieces that drew me to them in the first place it amazes me with the amount of time theses ladies would have had to spend working how they ever had the time to   make such wonderful items.
I am keeping the family pieces but the vintage stuff I will get rid of probably on ebay, now they look lovely and clean it would be a shame to shove them back into the attic! Let someone else enjoy them.

Needlework wise I have done very little as it has been very hot and sticky here. Living next to a field we have the same problem every year around this time blasted corn lice! Eugh horrible critters they get everywhere behind the picture frames inside the laptop screen they crawl over everything and we
can't sit out in the garden without being covered in the critters and they just make you itch all over. After living here for so long you'd think id be used to them by now lol. Anyone who lives near fields will know what I am talking about...roll on harvest time. Anyway to get back on track we have to keep the windows at the back of the house shut and run fans which means I can't stitch for long as things get blown around lol. Oh well it's not for ever.
I have managed to finish BBD Forget Me Not really love how this has turned out not sure how I will have this framed not that I have a lot of choice my local framer has a very limited selection, oh how I envy others with super duper framers. I have toyed with the idea of ordering frames online but I am afraid I will get the measurements wrong.
I've also started some small cross stitch kits that I bought from Atelier in France. And it's all Annettte of California Stitcher blog fault ;0) she posted gorgeous pictures of the kits and before I knew it I had some on order, go on have a wee nosey, dare you to not be tempted as well *grin*. They are lovely little kits as Annette says and a great price for what you get, the website is all in French but with google translate on hand and my very rudimentary school French it was easy to navigate and place my order. The parcel arrived very quickly and I was delighted with the little kits which are in French but very easy to understand without knowledge of the language.
You are supplied with the linen, hand dyed threads and silk ribbon for finishing. My plan is to turn all these into little lavender sachets to hang in my wardrobe. I've already bought a large bag of lavender.
These are soo pretty and fairly quick to stitch so I am hoping to have them completed fairly quickly corn lice and weather permitting of course!
We have also been celebrating someone's 8th birthday and the birthday boy announced he wanted a creeper cake from Minecraft. Those of you who have children of a similar age will no doubt have heard of Minecraft and will know what I am talking about the rest of you will no doubt be staring at the picture thinking has she flipped? What on earth is that!? Lol I am no domestic goddess but did what any mother and have a bash! 
Turned out not too bad little bit wonky but the birthday boy was thrilled...and it tasted not too bad either!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope your all enjoying the summer.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Stitchy progress

It's not all work and no play for this girl *grin* I have some progress pics to share with you, BBD Forget Me Not is nearly finished as you can see just a little to do at the bottom, it kind of got put to one side as I lost one of my skeins of blue thread ( think I left it behind at the swimming pool when taking twin 1 to her swimming lesson)

So while Forget Me Not got put on the back burner I pulled out my kit for the Miniature Needlelace Lavender Hearts by Jenny Adin-Christie, these are soo teeny and cute! Smaller than I expected and took longer to make than I expected too lol but I love them! Jenny's instructions are frankly foolproof she takes you step by step with plenty of pictures you just can't go wrong. I can see me making lots of these in odd moments they are sooo addictive and the smell of the lavender is just...ahhh....gorgeous! I have put mine on my scissors for the moment and can't stop picking them up and smelling them. I love the dotty backs, they are so cheery and make me smile.

Took a little break from making the needlelace hearts as my wonderful hubby treated me to an introduction to stumpwork class at the Wemyss School of Needlework at the end of June to make this...

For completing my first year at college. The class was taken by Helen McCook and she is an amazing teacher with lots of patience and willing to spend time showing us and explaining what we were to do, some of the lady's were quick learners and got on with the task in hand some and here I include myself in this group were not so quick lol and needed a lot of support. Helen was lovely and would come round to those of us needing help individually.
I have not done any form of embroidery since I was very young when my gran taught me but it really never grabbed me and I much preferred doing cross stitch. However I have always admired the old stumpwork pictures that you often see in old stately homes and wondered how they made them so this class really appealed to me. I can honestly say it did not disappoint. I did not get my butterfly finished at class it took me another week or so of on off stitching to complete it but I am kind of proud of it and like to think my gran is looking down and saying ' thank goodness she's finished something!' Well here it is..

The Wemyss School of Needlework is a wonderful place to hold a class, in the classroom itself you are surrounded by wonderful examples of old needlework and the windows let in plenty of light so we didn't really need to use the lamps that were supplied for our use. I was fascinated with the work stands supplied called Lowery Stands they are not the most attractive looking stands but boy were they sturdy and did the I mustn't be tempted I've got a floor stand already and I am meant to be de-cluttering!
The school is also a museum and there were examples of needlework and old photos on all the walls even in the toilet which might explain why some of us seemed to spend an age in their *sheepish grin*
We ate a lovely lunch surrounded by more examples of needlework and kits and threads, sadly I had to rush out the door at the end of the class due to fractious kids and hubby waiting in the car for me so didn't get a chance to have a good look and spend some pennies....hmm perhaps in the light of current goings on in this house that may not be such a bad thing...but I will go back. I would love to do another class it was a wonderful and memorable day. Sadly I can't share any photos of inside the school with you all as we were not allowed to take any I assume because of the old needlework and pictures, I would recommend if you are ever up this way do check out if any classes are on or to even just visit the shop and museum well worth a visit in my humble opinion!

I can now work again on my Forget Me Not sampler as I have ordered the missing thread and ordered some threads and linen to finally make a start on on Black Bird Designs SAL which I signed up for but as yet not started so no excuses now.
Finally we have had a couple of wet days (well it is Scotland) which means cool nights and I have managed to get a little more done on my socks. They are progressing but very slowly, I seem to spend as long un-twisting my needles and yarn as I do knitting! Hmmm maybe I need shorter needles, I certainly need to pay more attention to where the pattern starts on my yarn in future.  No matter these are just for me but I am rapidly coming to the conclusion I am no natural sock knitter *grin*
Thank you for popping by.

The great de-clutter! Part 1

Sorry I have been absent from my blog for this past wee while. I also apologise in advance for the non stitchy content of this post. I've not been particularly busy with stitching and stuff partly because it's the school holidays and the kids are home all day and we are into the third week of the already? The weather has for the most part been fab and sunny so lots of time spent outdoors tidying the garden and reading. And partly because my girls are going to start secondary school after the holidays, can't believe my little girls are going to secondary school? I can still remember them stumbling around taking their first steps for goodness sake!

Anyway they have been grumbling for some time now about wanting their own rooms/space soooo we are clearing out the craft/computer/laundry storage/general dumping ground room. Which means *takes deep breath* The Great De-Clutter, omg the amount of stuff we have literally stuffed into this house has frankly amazed and shocked me. Why throw things away when one day we might need them tic? But seriously the things we have held onto... I wasn't sure where to start but certainly not in the craft/computer/laundry storage/general dumping ground room for sure. 

I need space in the rest of the house to move this stuff into which means clearing out cupboards and attic space ....I've been at this for nearly two weeks now and Iam still not finished! *hangs head in shame* out of our bedroom cupboard alone which is a huge 4 door walk in job we cleared out 11 bin bags, stuff we had held onto from our youth just when did I think that I was ever going to wear the shorts again that I wore when I was in my teens??? My hubby's old lumber jack shirts??..sentimental old fools that we are! All gone now though. Next it was the under stairs cupboard and the hall cupboard both looking so much better now and yet another trip to the charity shop and one to the local recycling centre at least I can no walk into my under stairs cupboard haven't been able to do that in a loooong time. 

Now we move onto the attic space which is very limited as it's really an under the eaves space as we extended our house up into the loft space a good few years ago now...yes I can hear you all 'well she can't have much stored under there then' ...oh how wrong you all are *hangs head in shame* it really is amazing the amount of crap stuff that you can squeeze into these small spaces I really truly was stunned and amazed myself! Although in this instance I have to say hubby's the main culprit as he has a bad habit of stuff it in there and forget about it deal with it later attitude so he had many large boxes to clear out along with just about every gadget we have ever owned box that was stored in there. The cardboard bin is now full to over flowing. 

Around about this time I thought it might be an idea to keep a record for the future of the amount of stuff coming out, you know just so we can remind ourselves how bad we once were should the urge to stuff something else into the back of a cupboard or the attic should ever arise again! So...
And this is just a fraction of what came out of the attic. All in I made two round trips to the local recycling centre.
And this lot cluttering up my sons bedroom...
Will be heading shortly to the charity shop once I get my backside in gear! But first breakfast and a coffee calls..

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Snowflower Diaries

Ok I wasn't expecting to post again quite so soon however I received a wee parcel in the post this morning and it was a very pleasant and welcomed surprise. A surprise because I had forgotten I had ordered these and pleasant because I love receiving packages! Take a look at the packaging isn't it scrummy? I have said before that I am a sucker for delicious packaging and this parcel didn't disappoint ....
*eeeek* look pretty ribbon. 
and pretty stickers I am just a big kid me *grin*
Maja of The Snowflower Diaries recently offered free shipping if you bought her paper patterns........well it would have been rude not to wouldn't it?
I got The Angela pattern and Maja's Garden I.
Though I seriously need to curb my buying and do some actual stitching now! So having said that I will be off now and catch up with all later.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Jenny Adin-Christie and updates

I was browsing online recently looking for something totally unrelated to needlework when I stumbled on Jenny Adin-Christie website and wow! What a treat and a feast for the eyes her work is just amazing, now I don't usually do any form of needlework other than cross stitch or petitpoint and I am happy to admire other forms of needlework but that's usually as far as it goes however her kits are gorgeous and I fell in love with the Miniature Needlework Lavender Hearts kit they just looked sooo sweet I ordered a kit ...mmmm naughty I know but I justified it as a wee reward for finishing my first year at college that's ok isn't it? I was soo excited when the postie brought my parcel and when I opened it the kit was beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, I don't know about you but I always feel a little bit special when opening a parcel that has been wrapped prettily. The kit itself is beautifully presented in its own little calico bag with a colour picture on the front of the finished item.
The bag will be handy for storing the work in progress and then could be easily reused for something else as the picture will easily peel off the bag. Would you like to see a closer picture of the hearts? Well Iam only too happy to oblige!
The kit comes with everything you could possibly need to complete it.
There is a list of the contents included and just look at what comes in the kit!
There is a very detailed step by step set of instructions very useful for the likes of myself who has never done any needlelace before. 
Jenny even includes all the different sizes of needles you are going to need in their very own little needlework book with the size of needle next to each one. No excuses for me using the wrong needle for the job then lol. Oh and that little scrap of material is for practising making needlelace loops and Jenny even includes extra thread to practice with she seems to have thought of everything and covered it I am well impressed!
Oh how I wish I could share with you the scent of that lavender! I do love the scent of lavender and these little hearts are going to be extra special filled with this. The kit comes with enough materials to make two hearts and if you wish you can choose which two you would like as I couldn't make up my mind cos I liked all three I left it up to Jenny to pick for me and very glad I am too those colours are gorgeous.
This shows you what is included in each little package: the materials, all the necessary threads, beads and ribbon for finishing it. Can't wait to start this now!
I haven't been slacking I do have some progress pictures to share with you to. First of all BBD Forget Me Not still loving this design and I've managed to get all of the vines stitched, will finish the pot at the bottom then back on to the flowers me thinks or maybe I should stitch some more of the alphabet hmmm decisions decisions.
I have also knitted some more of my socks.
Oh my! I have had such bother with these socks and I've chalked up yet another 'sock lesson learnt' this is the third time I've knitted the pattern part. I have ripped out twice already and all because I didn't read the pattern all the way through. The original pattern was downloaded from Ravelry and I just worked from that, however if I had read the amendment on Ravelry I would have saved myself a lot of heartache *sigh* oh well I am on the way with them now and I do like knitting both socks at the same time's taking forever lol.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Under Pressure!

As the title suggests I am feeling a little bit under pressure at the moment, college is drawing to a close and it's been a bit frantic getting all the last bits and bobs done and handed in. I've sat soo many exams this last wee while my head is spinning......but the end is in sight just one more big exam to go and in a fortnight I will be FREE let me just say that again ....cos I like how it sounds.....I will be FREE!! To do whatever I like....well ok..almost anything ;0) I did have a break this past weekend I had just had enough and I was missing stitching so I dug out Forget Me Not by BBD and made a start would you like to see?
I found this a really relaxing project to stitch and I am loving the colours. I have chosen to stitch it using the recommended threads and colours but I am stitching it on 40 count linen using one strand of floss over two threads and I like how it's turning out. It's not going to be a big project but right now that is just fine with me!
Ah those mellow and soothing colours good for the soul. I can't wait to come back to this project not long to wait!
I like to have a mix of projects on the go to pick up something that takes my fancy be it a big project or little ones. Iam a huge fan of  Maja of The Snowflower Diaries designs and have stitched a few which you can see in early entries on this blog. So I was tickled pink when I saw that she was having a giveaway  on her blog just check this little lot out!
Not only can you win three copies of her newest patterns but also 2 pieces of 32 count linen hand dyed by Maja and 15 skeins of gorgeous Nina's Hand Dyed Threads! Wow! Who wouldn't want to be the lucky recipient of that lot! Certainly not me which is why I've added my name lol and hope you will all pop over and join too cos if I don't win I would love one of my lovely blog buddies to :0)
Just click on the link above or the picture to take you to her blog and good luck if you decide to enter.

Friday, 9 May 2014

New stash

Following on from my last post regarding my trip to Dundee, I paid a little visit to a wool shop and added to my stash. I got some cheap wool ( it was reduced honest! ) to practice knitting two socks at the same time, here's hoping I can get two matching socks. I've already made a wee start on them even though I haven't finished the last pair off, naughty me.
I just had to start them off to see how the wool was knitting up. I am using Drops Fabel and liking them so far.
I also bought this ball of sock yarn by Schoppel as I really like the colours but will make sure I can knit a matching pair first before I start using it.
They will be bright and cheery for cool autumn days. I know we are heading into summer and the days here are starting to warm up but I am slow at knitting and need to plan ahead.

I've also been doing a little online shopping to add to my stash. It was exciting when the parcel arrived through the post even though I knew what was going to be in it I was like a child at Christmas  full of anticipation. Oh boy the parcel didn't disappoint. Would you like to see what I treated myself 
too? I thought so ok then.
I've had my eye on the BBD Forget Me Not pattern for quite a while but it has been out of stock every time I've gone to order it but luck must have smiled on me cos I've got one now. While browsing, cos it just seemed silly to buy one little chart when there was shipping to be paid, I fell in love with this Stacy Nash Primitives Tribute to Summer Sampler. There is just something about the colours in this one that just called to me. Ok you will have noticed that I didn't just buy the charts I thought I may as well kit them out so they are ready to start when the mood strikes. I don't know about you but I hate wanting to start a project then having to wait while I order the necessary threads 
and linens...inevitably I go off the boil....and start something else.

Forget Me Not will be stitched using the recommended threads but will be stitched on 40 count linen as they didn't have the recommended count I don't mind will end up a little smaller but that's ok.
Summer Sampler with there commended threads and linen. The colours look lovely here don't they? Well I have one teensy wee gripe about some of those colours.....
These two threads GA Apple Cider and GA Lambswool are according to the chart the colours for the outer border leaves and flowers. Now I know that computer screens and chart colours can be a little misleading but do these threads look remotely summery to you? Cos they certainly don't to me!
This one in particular really had me scratching my head, I've been on line searched for images of this sampler completed, looked at colour samples for GA Apple Cider and they are all GREEN or various shades of green but definitely green folks! I know colour lots can change but this is pretty dramatic. Now the above thread to me looks brown no green not even a snifter of green in it and there is no way, no how, nuh uh that I will be stitching a border of dead brown leaves on my summer sampler. Whew! Glad I got that off my chest lol! So what to do? Well I am just going to have to look through my stash for a green that I do like and a lighter shade for the flowers simple.
Now this combination is much more pleasing to my eye, lighter coloured flowers and green leaves, much more summer like.......and breath....

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A finish and trip to Dundee

It's been a while since I last posted don't know what happened to the time a mixture of the Easter holidays spending time with the family and college work I guess but I do have something to share and I see I have some followers, oh my goodness! well hello and welcome *waves* thank you for joining me, guess I had better get on and write something now!
I have managed to finish my Sampler House project by With Thy Needle and Thread.
Really pleased with how it's turned out.
The soft white for the windows really lifts this. I've just got to 'finish' it properly now which should be *mumble mumble* well let's just say soon...ish.
Iam still working away on my socks I am nearly done with the second sock.
 I just have just one eensy weensy, teeny weeny problem......
my knitting tension, obviously I must be knitting tighter than I did the first sock as the second is definitely smaller......sigh!
Ah well I am going to look on this as a learning curve albeit a steep one! For future sock projects I plan to knit both socks at the same time. Fortunately daughter two still wants the socks maybe when I wash them they won't be too noticeable in size difference? Or they may end up as binners.
So why did I mention Dundee in my post title? Well yesterday hubby needed to make a trip to Dundee so we all decided to go as well cos it's not like I don't have anything else that I should be 
doing such as writing up reports and studying for some fast approaching exams eeek!!!
Anyway this is where we ended up
This is Dundee's waterfront looking up the estuary towards Newburgh. As you can see the tide was out and the water was eerily still.
This photo is looking down the river and you can see the Tay Railway Bridge and if you look closely at the picture at the other side of the bridge you can just make out the stumps of the bases of the original Railway Bridge, the famous Tay Bridge Disaster, they stand there as poignant  reminder of that tragic night. The original Tay Bridge collapsed on the 28th December 1879 killing all passengers and crew. There is a memorial here at the waterfront for all the victims but I was unable to get a photo as there was a family looking at it. 
The reason I am showing you pictures of the waterfront is because this is where we had lunch, not in the lovely looking restaurant housed in replica Victorian railway station, no we need to go round the back of the station to this...
An authentic 1870's railway carriage (apparently it was operational around the time of the Tay Bridge Disaster) which has now been converted to a fabulous little take away.
If you look closely you may just be able to make out hubby and daughter placing our lunch order which for me was the most amazing bacon and egg roll oh my it was good, so good I forgot to take a picture before it was gone!
Goodness I haven't half waffled on well done to anyone who has made it this far down the post without falling asleep. I do have more to share about the point of my trip to Dundee and some new goodies I would love to share with you but I will have to leave that for another day as I have to get on with some college work boo.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sloooow progress!

Well that's the holidays over for us so it's back to the grindstone this week boohoo! However we have all got Good Friday off so it will be a short week and a nice long weekend yeah! Over the holidays I have been busy with the kids doing all sorts of catch up stuff, the usual round of appointments, dentist and play dates etc which means I've done very little on my projects since my last post. I have however managed to finish the first sock off and I've started on the second, here's hoping it will be the same size! My daughter has already called dibs on them so I had better get a move on or the weather will too warm for wearing them.
I am still not liking the tie dye effect but I do like the stripes on the heel ....... If only the whole sock was stripy like that!
Ooh look stripes appearing on the toe of the new sock!

I haven't been completely idle over the holidays I have managed to add a few more stitches to the The Sampler House. I've managed to complete the house part just got to add the windows in then onto the second tree.
I was getting a little concerned at how dark it was all appearing so I pulled out the threads and think the white will help to lift it. Doesn't help living in Scotland with the poor light we have here at times.
Not much more stitching to do then I can add it to my ever growing round tuit finishing pile!